Building a Horizon View vCheck with those nice api’s (part 1 of ??)

Intro

Ever since I saw Alan Renouf’s vCheck script first in action years ago it has been one of the tools I have been promoting to use for daily checks. The fact that you can disable and enable plugins makes it a flexible adjustable solution that helped me preventing companies having big problems or proving that I have been warning them about things for weeks or months. Also I have whipped many colleague or customer around the ears with questions why they didn’t remove those snapshot they created 3 days before

Getting started

Fast forward until a couple of months ago when I saw those release note’s for PowerCli 6.5 with more options to talk to the Horizon View api’s. This immediately gave me the idea to build a set of vCheck scripts for Horizon View. One of the first things to do was finding out how the vCheck framework actually works. This turned out to be a matter of outputting the info you would like in the output as if it is on the command line. Also adding a section that contains a description helps in building the output:

$Title = "Composer Servers Status"
$Header = "Composer Servers Status"
$Comments = "These are the used Composer Servers"
$Display = "Table"
$Author = "Wouter Kursten"
$PluginVersion = 0.1
$PluginCategory = "View"

The 2nd thing to do is deciding on what checks needed to be build. After checking on the vExpert slack and with some co-workers and friends I came up with a shortlist:

  • Dashboard error status (Sean Massey)
  • Desktops with error (non-standard) status (Myself,Sean Massey)
  • Compare the Snapshots that have been set to the ones actually used on desktops to see if recompose might not have run (Brian Suhr, myself)
  • relation between Composer and vCenter (Kevin Leclaire)
  • last use time for dedicated desktops (Kees Baggeman)
  • Event Database status
  • Connection,composer,security server status
  • Information and status about the various desktop pool types
  • RDS farm status

Getting things done

Before actually building any checks a connecton has to be made this is done in the Connection plugin:

$Title = "Connection settings for View"
$Author = "Wouter Kursten"
$PluginVersion = 0.1
$Header = "Connection Settings"
$Comments = "Connection Plugin for connecting to View"
$Display = "None"
$PluginCategory = "View"

# Start of Settings
# Please Specify the address of one of the connection servers or the address for the general View environment
$Server = "Servername"
# Maximum number of samples to gather for events
$MaxSampleVIEvent = 100000
# Please give the user account to connect to Connection Server
$hvcsUser= "username"															
# Please give the domain for the user to connect to Connection Server
$hvcsDomain = "domain"														

# End of Settings



# Credential file for the user to connect to the Connection Server
$hvcsPassword = get-content .\hvcs_Credentials.txt | convertto-securestring		
# Credential file for the User configured n View to connect to the Database
$hvedbpassword=get-content .\hvedb_Credentials.txt | convertto-securestring   	

# Loading 
Import-Module VMware.VimAutomation.HorizonView
Import-Module VMware.VimAutomation.Core

# --- Connect to Horizon Connection Server API Service ---
$hvServer1 = Connect-HVServer -Server $server -User $hvcsUser -Password $hvcsPassword -Domain $hvcsDomain

# --- Get Services for interacting with the View API Service ---
$Services1= $hvServer1.ExtensionData

# --- Connect to the view events database ---
#$eventdb=connect-hvevent -dbpassword $hvedbpassword

# --- Get Desktop pools
$pools=(get-hvpool)

As you might notice the vmware.hv.helper plugin is required to do this.

The first real check I decided to build was to see if the desktops are actually build on the same snapshot as configured on pool level. With this you are able to see if a recompose ran into trouble. Let me highlight some of the code:

if ($pool.type -like "*automated*" -AND $pool.source -like "*VIEW_COMPOSER*"){

There are a couple of pooltypes and one of them is automated, since we’re looking for linked clones we also need to make sure the pool source is VIEW_COMPOSER if this says VIRTUAL_CENTER you’re looking at full clones.

$wrongsnaps=$poolmachines | where {$_.managedmachinedata.viewcomposerdata.baseimagesnapshotpath -notlike  $pool.automateddesktopdata.VirtualCenternamesdata.snapshotpath -OR $_.managedmachinedata.viewcomposerdata.baseimagesnapshotpath -notlike $pool.automateddesktopdata.VirtualCenternamesdata.snapshotpath}

I could have shortened this one by defining a couple of variables but this gives an impression of how deep you might have to go to get the required data. WHat I do is check if the snapshot has the same name AND if the selected source VM has the same name if either of the two is different the vm wil be entered on the output.

$wrongsnapdesktops+= New-Object PSObject -Property @{"VM Name" = $wrongsnap.base.name;
								"VM Snapshot" = $wrongsnap.managedmachinedata.viewcomposerdata.baseimagesnapshotpath;
								"VM GI" = $wrongsnap.managedmachinedata.viewcomposerdata.baseimagepath;
								"Pool Snapshot" = $pool.automateddesktopdata.VirtualCenternamesdata.snapshotpath;
								"Pool GI" = $pool.automateddesktopdata.VirtualCenternamesdata.parentvmpath;

Last of the real code is about displaying the actual info for the desktop.

This all results in the following plugin, be aware that this might be a bit slow to run since it needs go go trough all desktops. For my customer it takes about 3 minutes on 1350 desktops.

# Start of Settings
# End of Settings


$wrongsnapdesktops=@()
foreach ($pool in $pools){
$poolname=$pool.base.name
if ($pool.type -like "*automated*" -AND $pool.source -like "*VIEW_COMPOSER*"){

$poolmachines=get-hvmachine ($pool.base.name)
$wrongsnaps=$poolmachines | where {$_.managedmachinedata.viewcomposerdata.baseimagesnapshotpath -notlike  $pool.automateddesktopdata.VirtualCenternamesdata.snapshotpath -OR $_.managedmachinedata.viewcomposerdata.baseimagesnapshotpath -notlike $pool.automateddesktopdata.VirtualCenternamesdata.snapshotpath}
foreach ($wrongsnap in $wrongsnaps){
$wrongsnapdesktops+= New-Object PSObject -Property @{"VM Name" = $wrongsnap.base.name;
								"VM Snapshot" = $wrongsnap.managedmachinedata.viewcomposerdata.baseimagesnapshotpath;
								"VM GI" = $wrongsnap.managedmachinedata.viewcomposerdata.baseimagepath;
								"Pool Snapshot" = $pool.automateddesktopdata.VirtualCenternamesdata.snapshotpath;
								"Pool GI" = $pool.automateddesktopdata.VirtualCenternamesdata.parentvmpath;
}
}
}
}
$wrongsnapdesktops

$Title = "VDI Desktops based on wrong snapshot"
$Header = "VDI Desktops based on wrong snapshot"
$Comments = "These desktops have not been recomposed with the correct Golden Image Snapshot"
$Display = "Table"
$Author = "Wouter Kursten"
$PluginVersion = 0.1
$PluginCategory = "View"

And this is how it looks:

Another script I already made is a simple one to get the status of all full clone pools. Not really fancy but it gets information about what template is used as the base and several counts for the various status of desktops:

# Start of Settings
# End of Settings

$fullpoolstatus=@()
foreach ($pool in $pools){
$poolname=$pool.base.name
if ($pool.type -like "*automated*" -AND $pool.source -like "*VIRTUAL_CENTER*"){
$desktops=get-hvmachinesummary -pool $poolname
$fullpoolstatus+=New-Object PSObject -Property @{"Name" = $Poolname;
								"Template" = $pool.AutomatedDesktopData.VirtualCenterNamesData.TemplatePath;
								"Desktop_Count" = ($desktops).count;
								"Desktops_Unassigned" = ($desktops | where {$_.base.User -eq $null}).count;
								"Available" = ($desktops | where {$_.base.basicstate -eq "AVAILABLE"}).count;
								"Connected" = ($desktops | where {$_.base.basicstate -eq "CONNECTED"}).count;
								"Disconnected" = ($desktops | where {$_.base.basicstate -eq "DISCONNECTED"}).count;
								"Maintenance" = ($desktops | where {$_.base.basicstate -eq "MAINTENANCE"}).count;
								"Provisioning" = ($desktops | where {$_.base.basicstate -eq "PROVISIONING"}).count;
								"Customizing" = ($desktops | where {$_.base.basicstate -eq "CUSTOMIZING"}).count;
								"Already_Used" = ($desktops | where {$_.base.basicstate -eq "ALREADY_USED"}).count;
								"Agent_Unreachable" = ($desktops | where {$_.base.basicstate -eq "AGENT_UNREACHABLE"}).count;
								"Error" = ($desktops | where {$_.base.basicstate -eq "ERROR"}).count;
								"Deleting" = ($desktops | where {$_.base.basicstate -eq "DELETING"}).count;
								"Provisioning_Error" = ($desktops | where {$_.base.basicstate -eq "PROVISIONING_ERROR"}).count;
}
}
}
$fullpoolstatus | select Name,Template,Desktop_Count,Desktops_Unassigned,Available,Connected,Disconnected,Maintenance,Provisioning,Customizing,Already_Used,Agent_Unreachable,Error,Deleting,Provisioning_Error
$Title = "Full Clone Desktop Pool Status"
$Header = "Full Clone Desktop Pool Status"
$Comments = "These are all pools with full clones and their most common counters"
$Display = "Table"
$Author = "Wouter Kursten"
$PluginVersion = 0.1
$PluginCategory = "View"

and again this is how it can look:

Github

After Alan Renouf saw me posting screenshots on Twitter he offered to setup a github project for this. Last week this was done and I have already done my first few commits. Hopefully more people will jump on the bandwagon so we can make this check as awesome as the original is.

Updated flings for Horizon View

The last couple of weeks some of the flings applicable for Horizon View and that I had in my VMUG presentation have been updated. The Horizon Toolbox 2 has been updated so it now supports console access for vCenter 6.0u2 and 6.5 + it now supports horizon 7.1. The Horizon OS Optimization Tool got several bugfixes.

Recent change for the Horizon Toolbox 2:

2017-Mar-17 Horizon Toolbox 2.1.3

New Features

  • Support new Horizon version(7.1)
  • Support new VCenter version(VC6.5 and 6.0u2a) in Console Access feature

 

Recent changelog for the OSOT:

April 27, 2017 b1090b

  • Issue Fix: “the node to be removed is not a child of this node” when opitimize windows 10 template
  • Issue Fix: System.NullReferenceException occurs if the network can’t reach any of the public template repository.
  • Template Update (Windows 7/8/8.1): Correct the Menu Show Delay type to REG_SZ in item “Reduce Menu Show Delay”

April 18, 2017

Issue fixed

    • Some optimization items are skipped mistakenly. For example, Remote Apps in Windows 10 template. This is caused by a recent change in Conditional Check feature.

April 17, 2017 b1088

Feature

      • Conditional Check: you can specify on what condition an optimization should be run. For example, when a specific registry key match certain value.

Template

      • “Change Explorer Default View” has been changed to unselected by default, because of conflict to UEM. Details: it causes the locations in “user files” (desktop, downloads, favorites, music, videos , Documents, Pictures) folder is to the local drive c:\Users\Username, its Should be \\server\folder_redirection\%username% when use UEM folder redirection.

Enhancements

      • Public Templates tab: click template on the list is very slow, which should not be
      • Default public template repository URL updated
      • Loading public template repository takes too long

Issue Fix

    • Field validation: prevent user from creating template with blank name

Using PowerCLI to get Horizon view status & events

Update: There is a new way to pull the event information without having to enter the sql password please see this post about it.

So two weeks ago I had a nice little post about talking to Horizon View using PowerCLI. I also promised to be digging a bit more into PowerCLI by grabbing the script posted on the VMware blog and editing it a little to my taste. It’s a very useful script they have on there but still I prefer to know what might have caused the issues. I decided I needed to know who the last user was that used the desktop and the last entry into the eventlog and the time of that log. So actually most code used talks to the eventlog database, something already available pre PowerCLI 6.5 but what I hardly ever used.

The basics for connecting I won’t post but we do need an extra connection and that is to the event database:

$eventdb=connect-hvevent -dbpassword $hvedbpassword

As with the Horizon View connection it’s best to put this into a variable so it can be used later on. The $hvedbpassword should be the password for the user that View uses to connect to the database server in plain text! Earlier in the script I read the password from hashed contents in a text file.The request has been dropped to be able to pass encrypted credentials and/or creta a credentialstore for this.

Next up is grabbing the events for a certain Desktop

$lastevent=get-hvevent -hvdbserver $eventdb -timeperiod 'day' -messagefilter $problemvm.base.name

This could use some rework since I would prefer the time period to be a variable based on the current date but if the event is older then a day it will be hard to find anything on it anyway.

if ($lastevent.events){
$lasteventtime=$lastevent.events | select -expandproperty eventtime -first 1
$lasteventmessage=$lastevent.events | select -expandproperty message -first 1 
$lasteventusername=$lastevent.events | select -expandproperty Username -first 1 
}

This grabs the latest event, the time it happened and the user it happened to. This can be anything including a logoff. It might be able to help you why a lot of desktops are ending up in a rotten state.

The rest of the script is basic building of arrays, filling them, mailing it etc etc. So still not a lot of complicated code that some people build but it’s a bit of the basics in talking to the View Api and the event database.

This is the output you will get (this is from an html file and heavily edited to anonimize it)

The complete script, please do use and abuse it to your own taste as I have done with the original:

#########################################################################################
#																						#
# Get List of Desktops that are not available or connected		 						#
# This is based on the script posted here:												#
# https://blogs.vmware.com/euc/2017/01/vmware-horizon-7-powercli-6-5.html				#
# Required:																				#
# Powercli 6.5 Release 1																#
# The VMware.Hv.Helper Module from https://github.com/vmware/PowerCLI-Example-Scripts	#
#																						#
#########################################################################################

#region variables
#########################################################################################
#								Variables												#
#	Password files need to be filled firs using:										#
#	Read-Host -AsSecureString | ConvertFrom-SecureString | Out-File 'filename.txt'		#
#	Enter password and press enter														#
#	vCenter things have been marked out but I left them in here 						#
#	because they might be usefull for when someone else uses this script				#
#########################################################################################
$cs = "connectionbroker"														# Horizon Connection Server
$hvcsUser= "Service_Account"													# User account to connect to Connection Server
$hvcsPassword = get-content .\hvcs_Credentials.txt | convertto-securestring		# Password for user to connect to Connection Server
$csDomain = "domain"															# Domain for user to connect to Connection Server
$hvedbpassword=get-content .\hvedb_Credentials.txt | convertto-securestring   	# password to access event database
$mailto="user@domain.com"														# Address to send the status mail to
$mailfrom="connectionbroker@domain.com"											# Address to send the mail from
$mailsubject="Overview bad VDI desktops"										# Mail subject
$smtpserver="mailserver.domain.com"												# Mail server			
#$vcuser="vcuser"																# User account to access the vCenter server
#$vcpassword=get-content .\vCenter_Credentials.txt | convertto-securestring		# password to access the vCenter server
#vc = "Enter vCenter name"														# vCenter Server



$baseStates = @('PROVISIONING_ERROR',
                'ERROR',
                'MAINTENANCE',
                'DISCONNECTED',
                'AGENT_UNREACHABLE',
                'AGENT_ERR_STARTUP_IN_PROGRESS',
                'AGENT_ERR_DISABLED',
                'AGENT_ERR_INVALID_IP',
                'AGENT_ERR_NEED_REBOOT',
                'AGENT_ERR_PROTOCOL_FAILURE',
                'AGENT_ERR_DOMAIN_FAILURE',
                'AGENT_CONFIG_ERROR',
                'UNKNOWN')
				

#endregion variables

#region initialize
###################################################################
#                    Initialize                                  #
###################################################################
# --- Import the PowerCLI Modules required ---
Import-Module VMware.VimAutomation.HorizonView
Import-Module VMware.VimAutomation.Core

# --- Connect to Horizon Connection Server API Service ---
$hvServer1 = Connect-HVServer -Server $cs -User $hvcsUser -Password $hvcsPassword -Domain $csDomain

# --- Get Services for interacting with the View API Service ---
$Services1= $hvServer1.ExtensionData

# --- Connect to the vCenter Server ---
#Connect-VIServer -Server $vc -User $vcUser -Password $vcPassword

# --- Connect to the view events database ---
$eventdb=connect-hvevent -dbpassword $hvedbpassword

#endregion initialize

#region html
###################################################################
#                    HTML                                         #
###################################################################

$style = "<style>BODY{font-family: Arial; font-size: 10pt;}"
$style = $style + "TABLE{border: 1px solid black; border-collapse: collapse;}"
$style = $style + "TH{border: 1px solid black; background: #dddddd; padding: 5px; }"
$style = $style + "TD{border: 1px solid black; padding: 5px; }"
$style = $style + "</style>"

#endregion

#region main
###################################################################
#                    Main                                        #
###################################################################
$Problemarray=@()
#Write-Output ""
if ($Services1) 
	{
     foreach ($baseState in $baseStates) 
		{
           # --- Get a list of VMs in this state ---
           $ProblemVMs = Get-HVMachineSummary -State $baseState

           foreach ($ProblemVM in $ProblemVMs) 
		   {
		   			$lastevent=get-hvevent -hvdbserver $eventdb -timeperiod 'day' -messagefilter $problemvm.base.name
			
				if ($lastevent.events){
					$lasteventtime=$lastevent.events | select -expandproperty eventtime -first 1
					$lasteventmessage=$lastevent.events | select -expandproperty message -first 1 
					$lasteventusername=$lastevent.events | select -expandproperty Username -first 1 
					}
				else{
				$lasteventtime="Last event is longer then 1 day ago"
				$lasteventmessage="Not Available"
				}
			$lastmaintenancedate=(Get-HVMachine -machinename $problemvm.base.name)
		   	$item = New-Object PSObject
			$item | Add-Member -type NoteProperty -Name Name -Value $problemvm.base.name 
			$item | Add-Member -type NoteProperty -Name State -Value $problemvm.base.basicstate 
			$item | Add-Member -type NoteProperty -Name Pool -Value $problemvm.namesdata.desktopname
			$item | Add-Member -type NoteProperty -Name Last_event_time -Value $lasteventtime
			$item | Add-Member -type NoteProperty -Name Last_event_user -Value $lasteventusername
			$item | Add-Member -type NoteProperty -Name Last_event_message -Value $lasteventmessage
			$Problemarray+= $item
           }
		}
	
		if ($problemarray)	
			{
			$mailbody=$Problemarray | sort state,name | convertto-html -head $style -property  name,state,Pool,Last_event_time,Last_event_user,Last_event_message | out-string
			send-mailmessage -smtpserver $smtpserver -to $mailto -from $mailfrom -subject $mailsubject -body $mailbody -bodyashtml 
			}
		else
			{
			send-mailmessage -smtpserver $smtpserver -to $mailto -from $mailfrom -subject $mailsubject -body "No problems found in the Horizon View Environment" 
			}

     Write-Output "Disconnect from Connection Server."
     Disconnect-HVServer -Server $cs -confirm:$false
		} 

else 
	{
     Write-Output "Failed to login in to Connection Server."
     
     }
# --- Disconnect from the vCenter Server ---
#Write-Output "Disconnect from vCenter Server."
#Disconnect-VIServer -Server $vc
#endregion main

 

 

Talking PowerCLI against Horizon view (basics)

You know that VMware product that really lacked on the PowerCLI front called Horizon View? Well from PowerCLI 6.5 R1 it finally (try to imagine saying this like The Rock : Finally Powercli has come to Horizon View!) has its own module that you can use to talk to Horizon View and the View API’s.

Offcourse i am not the first to write about it and lots can already be found at the above link to the VMware blog by Graeme Gordon but I did want to share a couple of easy commands with you. I will not bore you with how to set it up because that’s already perfectly explained in Graeme’s post.

First we need to connect, looks like the connect-viserver right?:

connect-hvserver SERVERNAME

you will get a popup box for credentials, I haven’t found an option yet to do something like new-vicredentialstoreitem yet but you can use a hashed password in a text file.

Now for example to retrieve all disconnected desktops

Get-HVMachineSummary -State DISCONNECTED

This can be changed to whatever states are available for desktops.

One of the things Horizon View always lacked was proper reporting for desktop counts i.e. how many desktops are in what state. Lots of people had to use things like scripts that counted them from the adam database (sloooooow) or used tools like the VMware Horizon toolbox 2. To get a count is now really easy with powercli, just repeat the above command and do a count on it.

(Get-HVMachineSummary -State DISCONNECTED).count

For me this was a matter of a second with over 900 desktops available.

Want some information about a single desktop?

get-hvmachinesummary -machinename "machinename" | fl

In short you can find anything you want with the command or by using the View API’s. Since I am not an APi expert myself I would recommend heading over to the API browser and see what you want to use.  In my next post I will dig into the command a bit more by grabbing the script from the VMware blog post and editing it more to my taste.

Can you smellllllll what The Rock is cooking?

New VMware fling: View Client Resizer

I must have missed i during the holiday season but VMware has released a new fling: the View Client Resizer. It’s a simple fling that let’s you easily select any resolution you want to check your VMware Horizon View environment on to see how it behaves. The steps below I have done on a 2-screen setup.

  1. First you go to https://labs.vmware.com/flings/view-client-resizer and download the zip file
  2. Next unpack the zip file
  3. Start the executable
  4. Start the Horizon View client and open a VDI session
  5. Push refresh in the tool and it wil show the active sessions in the pulldown menu
  6.  
  7. Click resize and the session wil go to the top left corner of the Primary monitor in that resolution.

You can pick any of the default resolutions or make one up (smartphone resolutions for example ) as long as the x is between the digits with a minimum right now it seems of 800*600

 

Beware of MS KB3170455 with Windows 7 floating desktops

Yes I know 3170455 was released last summer but early last month when I released our new golden image we ran into a problem with this update. What happened was that users had problems with some printers. When adding them they got this warning:

8787-image-9_76cbef13

(This is an example picture, I believe Xerox has proper drivers now)

And when they logged in to a fresh desktop they couldn’t print and when we checked their printer it said it needed drivers.

923154

What I found was that this only happened with drivers of the non packaged type. Microsoft has been pushing to use packaged drivers ever since Windows Vista came out but apparently some manufacturers stil use older style not supported drivers. This is easily checked when you go into Print management and have included the column packaged.

2016-12-11-19_45_17-beheer-desktop

Microsoft has been giving these warnings for a while but up until this kb there was a workaround by setting this group policy setting:

Computer Configuration>Policies> Administrative Templates>Printers>Point and Print Restrictions from Not Configured to Disabled or enabled with some settings.

2016-12-11-19_37_12-beheer-desktop

With this KB installed and probably also with he other kb’s for other OS mentioned in the accompanying security bulletin: https://technet.microsoft.com/library/security/MS16-087 Windows ignores this setting and gives the warning anyway. For most systems clicking the allow once won’t be a big issue but when you have floating desktops where the printers get added every logon this is an issue so please be aware of this!